Online Retail Spending Sprints Into Holidays as Watchers Eye In-Store Price Matching

November 21, 2012 3:46 PM EST
Online retail spending is on pace to post impressive results, according to data from comScore (Nasdaq: SCOR). The analytics company is predicting 17 percent year-over-year gains in spending, totaling $43.4 billion.

“The 2012 online holiday shopping season is off to an encouraging start with a 16-percent growth thus far,” said comScore chairman, Gian Fulgoni. “Recent 5-year highs in consumer confidence and early retailer promotions appear to be serving as wind in the sails for the beginning portion of the holiday season, with consumers opening up their wallets early and often.”

If comScore’s $43.4 billion prediction proves accurate, it could be a good sign for online retailer like Amazon (Nasdaq: AMZN) and eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY). It could also be positive for traditional retailers who have a strong online presence.

Watchers are also tracking new price matching initiatives this year after several retailers, including Walmart (NYSE: WMT), Target (NYSE: TGT), and Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), announced that they would match online prices in an effort to end what industry insiders call “showrooming.”

While the comScore report didn’t make note of the price matching initiates, the rate of online purchasing appears to be tracking well. So far this holiday season, $10.1 billion has been spent online.

“The strength leading up to and during the holiday season-to-date, in addition to a maximum 32 shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, provide the basis for what we view as a fairly optimistic outlook for the 2012 online holiday shopping season,” added Fulgoni.

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